Mark Noel Miller headlines lineup of local talent
■ Chris Smith / Advisory Editor
Fans of bluegrass and folk music who would drive half a day to hear the flawless plucking of a banjo or 12-string guitar have a treat in store this weekend at Hemet’s own Derby’s Bar and Grill.
Saturday, Feb. 24, Derby’s is featuring a performance by Mark Noel Miller, a guitar player whose lightning finger picking turns the steel string guitar into a virtual banjo. Miller won first place last spring at the annual Topanga Banjo Fiddle Contest in Agoura Hills.
Miller will be the featured performer among a slate of local musicians to perform Saturday night at the popular Hemet venue.
The best part of the show, for some, may be the fact that it’s going to be free to residents of Hemet and others who meander into Derby’s before the 8 p.m. show start.
“We wanted to let people know that this show will have no cover charge whatsoever so that there’s nothing to keep serious lovers of blues from having the chance to hear Mark Miller, a true virtuoso,” said Jesse Vivanco, Derby’s owner.
“Mark Noel Miller is a throwback to a bygone age,” says David J, the alternative British rock musician who founded Love and Rockets. David J says Miller recalls “an age of the dust-bowl poet and Appalachian sage” and classifies him “a mercurial virtuoso” who has impressed audiences so much he has “seen many jaws on floors.”
“Though no mere technician, he, as like all truly great bluesmen, is capable of wringing out every last drop of soul from each beautifully tortured note,” says David J.
For those who would like to hear a sample of Miller’s playing on You Tube, here’s a link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THXw75PUjAw